Pro-coal editorial

The Sun-Gazette recent editorial would like you to think the administration and its EPA are not working in everyone’s best interests regarding efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the US. They want you to believe this is some kind of new issue, but it’s not. Clearly the Sun-Gazette has its head in the sand regarding climate change and global warming. Global warming and the climate change it engenders are well-established scientific facts, and it must be addressed or there will be consequences. Cartoons about weather make light of climate change, but it won’t be funny.

EPA has been challenged to come up with rules governing the emission of carbon dioxide following a 2007 Supreme Court decision on a case brought by several environmental groups and a few states, a decision made before the current administration came to Washington. Recent regulations developed by EPA would impact any new fossil-fueled power plants, and especially coal. Some new gas-fired facilities can already meet the new regulations, and several full-scale power plants are under construction in this country utilizing the technology needed to meet the new standards. EPA must now come up with similar regulations that would impact existing fossil-fueled power plants. Both of these sets of regulations will impact electricity prices across the country, and everyone in the energy production business has known this for a long time.

The billboards and magazine ads promoting “clean coal” are ridiculous. There is nothing clean about coal, from the severe environmental, social, health and safety impacts of coal mining to the hazardous materials emitted, discharged or disposed after coal is burned, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and other heavy metals, coal ash and radioactive materials. Coal has been the energy source of choice for hundreds of years, but the cost has been enormous as well.

I believe coal will continue to be mined and burned in the future, but the emissions will be controlled. The technology exists, and implementation of that technology will allow our economy to continue to grow. One only has to look a few miles down the road to see how PPL controls sulfur dioxides at its Montour SES technology that a dozen years ago was going to ‘stifle the coal industry’, but instead powers a new business and keeps our air clean.

Dan Alters


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom